Texas School Safety Standards

Grant Overviews and Requirements

Rep. Shawn Thierry, D-Houston, is introducing the ‘panic button bill’ — legislation that would require Texas schools to have alert devices with technology that immediately notify EMS, law enforcement, and other first responders in the case of an emergency.

The goal of the law is to address lagged law enforcement response due to slowed, secondary communication between teachers and administrators and 911 operators and first responders.

See how panic button technology, like CENTEGIX’s CrisisAlert, works in schools and how it keeps staff and students safe.

NEW TEA ANNOUNCEMENT AS OF JAN. 5, 2023

School Safety Allotment

A January 5 TEA letter stated that FY 2022 school safety allotment data will be collected by mandatory survey beginning January 5 and concluding February 8. To successfully complete the survey, LEAs should review the survey preview and gather and collect information related to all expenditures from their school safety allotment for the 2022 fiscal year.

LEAs should complete the FY 2022 School Safety Allotment Survey by:

11:59 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 8

Read more →

2022-2025 School Safety Standards Formula Grant

A January 5 TEA letter stated that the 2023-2025 School Safety Standards Formula Grant application is now available in eGrants. Allocations for eligible applications of the 2023-2025 School Safety Standards Formula Grant are available and can be viewed on the Entitlements page.

Eligible applicants must apply through the eGrants system by:

5 p.m. CST, Friday, February 17

Read more →

How Do You Evaluate Silent Panic Alert Technology (SPAT)?

To be effective, Silent Panic Alert Technology (SPAT) must have 100% user adoption, be simple and easy to use, and be specific on incident location. To evaluate if a solution will be the right fit for your district, ask these four questions:

Will staff adopt and use the technology?

Staff Adoption is Critical, and Mobile Apps Have Low Adoption. Following the Parkland Florida school tragedy, two months after an emergency response phone app was made available for educators to download, only 16% of one Florida school district staff had it installed on their mobile phones. A Marjory Stoneman Douglas teacher stated,My cellphone is my private property. But putting [the application] on my phone means now my phone is part of my work property. And having that responsibility to have your phone on you all the time can be problematic.

When every staff member is equipped with the CrisisAlert badge, you eliminate the need for educators to download an emergency response app to their personal device and achieve 100% user adoption.

Does it rely on wi-fi or cellular to communicate?

Wi-fi and Cell Service in Schools can Be Spotty, Leaving Mobile Apps Vulnerable. In an emergency, every second matters. Mobile app-based emergency response solutions that rely on wi-fi or a cellular signal to alert first responders can cost valuable seconds in repsonse time when a reliable signal can’t be found.

With a CrisisAlert badge, a staff member can initiate an alert anywhere on campus without worrying about whether they’re connected to the school’s wi-fi or if they have a strong cell signal. With the push of a button, first responders are instantly alerted.

Does it provide precise incident location to first responders?

Precise Location Information Impacts Response Time, and Mobile Apps Fall Short. Knowing precisely where to go during a crisis is a crucial piece of information for first responders and can determine whether a life gets saved or not. Mobile apps simply can’t guarentee accurate room- and floor-level incident information during a crisis.

When an emergency happens and an alert is triggered with the CrisisAlert badge, first responders instantly receive precise location information of the incident, down to the precise floor level and room number. This allows those in distress to get the help they need as soon as possible.

Will it notify everyone on campus?

Campus-Wide Notifications Protect Everyone, and Mobile Apps Lack the Functionality. When there’s an emergency, campus-wide notification of the event is paramount to ensuring everyone can take the necessary steps to get to safety. Mobile apps lack the functionality to be able to alert an entire campus of an emergency, such as a lockdown, with visual and audio cues.

CrisisAlert uses visual strobes, digital messages, and automated intercom announcements to inform everyone of a campus-wide incident and the actions to take.

THE CRISISALERT ADVANTAGE: WHY WE ARE DIFFERENT

ONE BUTTON ACTIVATION

Wearable badge with a single button enables confident human action. Users are not required to download an app.

IMMEDIATE NOTIFICATION

With the simple push of a button, alerts instantly reach administrators and responders.

TOTAL FACILITY COVERAGE

Our network secures every square foot of your property – there are no dead zones. Badges function everywhere.

AUDIO & VISUAL NOTIFICATION

Facility-wide alerts communicate emergency information using colored strobe lights, desktop alerts, and intercom integration.

LOCATION ACCURACY

Our innovative technology determines the location of the alert, down to an individual room.

EASE OF INSTALLATION

Solutions installed with no alterations to physical structures or electrical wiring are required.

CENTEGIX CrisisAlert vs Mobile Apps

CrisisAlert eliminates vulnerabilities related to app-only solutions and enables rapid incident response to every scenario.

Texas Education Agency School Safety Standards

The proposed school safety standards were released by TEA, and with the new requirements are significant grant allocations to offset the costs of improvements. The new standards address the findings in the Robb Elementary School preliminary investigative report that indicated an unsecured door and multiple communications challenges were factors in the tragedy at Uvalde. Learn more about the standards here.

2022-2024 Silent Panic Alert Technology (SPAT) Grant Overview and Requirements:

The purpose of the SPAT Grant is to provide grant funds to local educational agencies (LEAs) to purchase silent panic alert technologies for campuses as a measure of school safety.

Silent panic alert technology is generally defined as a silent system signal generated by the activation of a device, either manually or through software applications, intended to signal a life-threatening or emergency situation (such as an active shooter, intruder, or other emergency situation) requiring a response from law enforcement and/or other first responders. Learn more about the standards here.

2023-2025 School Safety Standards Formula Grant Overview and Requirements

This grant program will calculate formula allocations based on a per-pupil amount per LEA. Grant funds will be distributed by per-pupil counts that were derived from age 3-21 student enrollment as reported in the October 2021 PEIMS submission.

There will be a $200,000 grant allocation for smaller and rural LEAs, even if using the per-pupil methodology they would receive less than the $200,000 minimum grant award. 

The grant will allow spending on a variety of security-related items identified by the needs of each LEA. The grant will allow for various costs associated with school safety and security; however, the grant will come with a requirement that money must first be spent on items necessary to comply with the rule.

Once the standards of the rule are met, remaining funds can be spent on other eligible security-related costs as defined in the grant program allowable costs. 

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

School Safety Drill

CrisisAlert In Action

Our badge-based panic alarm is making headlines for the simplicity and reliability of the incident response solution.

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school teacher wearing a panic alert badge

Effective Strategies for Retaining Qualified Teachers

Districts can improve teacher retention rates by ensuring teacher autonomy and safety with mobile panic buttons like CrisisAlert.

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Schools safety with CrisisAlert

Examining Emergency Response Solutions Post-Uvalde

CrisisAlert eliminates communication vulnerabilities and enables rapid incident response, improving outcomes and saving lives.

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IN A CRISIS, EVERY SECOND MATTERS.